• sherry bliss haase

Lessons I'm Learning While Sheltering In Place

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13 NLT

We are in unprecedented times. These past few weeks have shown us how quickly our normal routine of life can change. Lives have been lost. Jobs have been lost. Businesses have been forced to close their doors. And we’re all wrestling with the daunting question…Do I have enough toilet paper to get through this? The COVID-19 virus is impacting all of us in different ways. I want to share what I’m learning through this experience and how it is shifting my perspective.

Technology is great but it does not replace face to face interaction.

It’s amazing how much our modern technology enables us to do from our homes. I’m using Zoom to host virtual meetings to support my clients while I can’t be there in person. My children have adapted to learning online. Social media and smartphones have helped us stay connected with our loved ones. Although I’m thankful for these virtual options, I deeply miss in-person contact. Watching church online in pajamas from the couch is nice, but I can’t wait to be back worshipping with my congregation. I love interacting with my family and friends by talking on the phone, texting, sharing pictures and funny memes but I’m dying to hug my parents or go to dinner with my girlfriends. It’s important to reach out to people who live by themselves right now. This must be an incredibly lonely time.

We need to practice good stewardship.

During this time of uncertainty, I’ve become more mindful of how we use our resources. Like everyone else, our family stocked up on food and other products. Because we do not want to waste this abundance of food, we’ve been more diligent than ever about our meal planning, staying on top of the “use or freeze by” dates (We’ve had a few fails here….progress, not perfection.) and eating our most perishable products first. We’re more careful about the amount of paper products we use, knowing we may not be able to get some on our next grocery run. As our country is in a time of economic turmoil, my husband and I are thankful that we have jobs that allow us to work from home right now, however, we can’t help but feel vulnerable as we hear about the numerous businesses closing and layoffs occurring. This reality is making us more frugal in our spending. These are all habits we should be practicing even in the most plentiful times.

It’s important to recognize the positive, even in our toughest seasons.

For me, sheltering in place has been an opportunity to slow down, take a break from our normally chaotic schedule and enjoy being with my family. My children are 16 and 12. The empty nest years will be here before I’m ready. I know the goal is to raise our children to fly on their own, but the thought of them not living under my roof makes me extremely sad. This season has allowed us more time to play board games, watch movies, bake cookies, and even complete a puzzle together. Although we have our days when everyone is a little stir crazy and getting on each other’s nerves, I am cherishing this family time.

Our faith is our source of hope.

When our lives get disrupted, we are reminded of how little control we truly have. We need to put our trust in the One who is in control. I pray this will be a time where people draw closer to God. Watching the death toll climb each day is heartbreaking, but as believers, we have the promise of eternal life. This is the hope that anchors us during our darkest days. We have an opportunity to share this hope and be the hands and feet of Jesus by showing compassion to others. If you are like me, your Easter celebration looked different this year, but Jesus’s victory over death shines brighter than ever. He paid the price, thousands of years ago, to open the gates of heaven to everyone who accepts Him as their Lord and Savior. We can get through this by trusting our loving creator and clinging to the truth that nothing on this earth compares to what we have waiting for us when our time here is done.

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.”

Romans 8:18 NLT


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